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OEC members Tracie Houtz, left, Debbie Gargalis, second from right, and Teri Berry present EOU with $1,550 accepted on behalf of the university by President Bob Davies. The money will be available to students in need who are completing their GED exams at EOU.
October 9, 2012
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) ⎯ Students seeking completion of general education development exams through the testing center at EOU have a new financial resource thanks to the Oregon Employer Council.
A $1,550 donation from OEC will fund 10 individual scholarships for students in need and cover the entire cost of completing the five-subject GED exams.
Members of the private, non-profit OEC board hope the money will give students the “leg up” they need to complete their GED and possibly pursue further education.
“We see a gap for students seeking employment without their GED and these funds could lead to a life changing event for an individual,” said Debbie Gargalis, council member and Oregon Employment Department office manager for Baker, Union and Wallowa counties.
Tracie Houtz, assistant director of Human Resources at EOU, also sits on the council. She said students coming to campus to complete their GED often make a connection that could ultimately lead to completion of an associate’s degree, certificate, bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.
EOU became the first location in the Northwest to offer the new computerized testing modules when it partnered with GED Testing Service last summer. Approximately ten students have been actively testing for their GED at EOU since August.
The exams in writing, reading, social studies, science and math are accessible between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in the testing center located in Zabel Hall, Room 112.
“EOU’s core themes focus on access to education, and with the help of the Employer Council, we can provide more across-the-board support to students at all levels,” said Bob Davies, EOU president. “Achieving your GED is an important step towards a better job or a university or community college degree. It’s great to see everyone pulling together on this program.”
“More and more employers are requiring a GED or high school equivalency,” echoed Teri Berry, OEC coordinator for Union County and Oregon Employment Department employee. “We want to help students overcome this hurdle.”
OEC and the Employment Department work in consort to provide training and information for employers on local and state labor markets, business issues, job fairs and many other resources funded by tax dollars.
Students interested in receiving OEC funding should contact Cathy Trochlell, EOU’s continuing education coordinator, at 541-962-3076. For more information about OEC visit www.oec.org.
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